And Now for Your Entertainment: Bring in the Politicians

I was sitting down just the other night, wondering why it is that BP doesn’t have a forum for visual art entertainment, but includes politics. Now, if it were me, I would suggest political debates take place in the main forum. But as I began to think I realized that politics as a form of entertainment is not so surprising. After all, we see it nearly everyday, mixed in with Paris’ scandalous video and Ben and J.Lo’s turbulent relationship.
Society as a whole has grown much too fond of mindless entertainment. The masses will preoccupy themselves with almost anything; from the latest fashion trends, the popularity of awards shows (and that doesn’t include the Nobel Prize), to the kidnapping of that poor little girl somewhere in the Heartland. The media is guilty only of selling the public what it wants, after years of training, American society demands a gruesome sniper attack, a war and a public display of adultery. The media latches on to success and tragedy with equal force. Animation, foreboding voices and background music accompany the scenes portrayed on the television. But where is the media when there is good being done, when there are UN summits, when ‘boring’ but socially relevant news is being made? Where do the media stand when the truth is revealed? Well behind the curtains waiting to jump on the bandwagon of success and condemnation.
Now, let’s place a serious politician in the midst of this media carnival. How does a politician acquire votes and mass acceptance? Why, by pandering to the majority; and sadly that majority is not interested in politics merely for its worth in society. So while the family sits down to watch the latest Reality TV show, the politicians are studying demographics on what is most appealing to the masses. Hence Kerry, motorcycle hipster, appearing on a very high rated late night talk show. It’s an attention grabber, and sadly, it works and even becomes a deciding factor in the voting process. Although some might find that low, Kerry’s image as a ruggedly handsome man succeeded in scrapping the bottom of the approval barrel. Women over thirty-five have stated that they would vote for Kerry based solely on his sexual appeal and men identify with his rough and tumble, average man shtick.
Another prime example: the California public chooses, not a man that has a political background, but the man whose face they know best, to be governor. This isn’t to say Arnie doesn’t have some great ideas, he may in fact prove to be a very good governor. The trouble is, he walked away from political debates, didn’t have enough of a platform to hold up even one of his biceps, and routinely quoted his movie catch phrases to for possible leverage. Most of the public found this absurd and distasteful, yet he was still elected to office. So maybe Arnie is on to something, after all he is just an extreme example of the trend in American politics. Another actor-cum-politician, Ronald Regan was a bit more understated than Arnie, but none the less, he acquired some of his votes from adoring fans and people who merely recognized his face.
Beyond the public cry for entertainment in politics, some politicians are entertaining the US without even realizing. Take our current president for example, how many times has the media fawned over his many ‘Bushisms’. Yes, he does happen to say some very strange and confusing things, and yes, it is quite amusing. But while we are so focused on our president’s speech impediments (for lack of a better term) he has waged two wars and essentially rewritten the Bill of Rights. Once again, I exaggerate; Bush deserves a bit more credit for pulling the wool over the public’s eyes. However, it remains a fact that the media covers amusing, entertaining stories while more important events are occurring. The politicians know this and use it to their advantage. Another more innocent example is Kennedy. Young, handsome and popular with all the right people, Kennedy owed many of his votes to adoring women and men who admired his winsome ways. Who needs a platform when you have an ass like that?
Another important factor in the stage show of politics is drama. Americans cannot live without a little drama, especially if that drama happens to be scandal. In an over-sexualized society, any sexual scandal is more than welcome. We wag our fingers at the perpetrators of these serious crimes while we settle into our seats with our buckets of popcorn. Clinton is the ultimate example of such a scandal. What better that adultery in the White House to entertain a drama-starved nation? I am positive that there had to be something a little more worthy of the American public’s time in those months when the media focused solely on Clinton’s adulterous ways.
While politics have become a circus of popularity (eerily reminiscent of those high school student counsel elections), we as a people continue to ignore the polls every November. It seems that no matter how hard the politicians tap, their dance can’t quite bring the masses to the voting booths. Here’s where my great plan comes in: as an ultimate act of desperation, politicians for the Democratic ticket claim spots in the ultimate Reality TV show. Name it what you will. Banished to an island, the candidates must fight tooth and nail to claim the spots on the Democratic primary ticket. After months of grueling tasks and dangerous debates rife with wild animals, old lovers and house remodeling; the four ‘Surviving’ candidates are released in time for the election. This ensures the public a choice as well as assuring the politicians that their antics will earn them the votes of nearly every capable soul over 18.
Degrading? Perhaps, but it will guarantee fans�I mean voters. Here in the great land of America, there is nothing the powerful men won’t do for their public. There is no such thing as stooping to low. And we as a nation let our eyes glaze over, staring at the Idiot Box, watching the latest version of the political three ring circus. Even those of us conscious Americans seeking a better society and education over entertainment look on with nausea; craning our necks as if peering at a horrific accident, unable to look away. I will leave you now with these thoughts and return to my TV, after all, I’m just as willing as anyone to step on the crushed body of a nation if it means I get a great view of the curled heap of metal that is our government.

One reply on “And Now for Your Entertainment: Bring in the Politicians”

you already read this to me on the phone and i love it, but next time remember to put returns between paragraphs, helps the readability a lot

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